A large group of us seniors attended a special public meeting on April 16, wherein the town council announced a minor adjustment to the property tax discount for seniors. This meeting lasted seven minutes, with a motion read, seconded, voted 100 per cent in favour by council, and then the meeting was adjourned.
They didnât allow us any opportunity to respond. What form of democracy do we have here? Why did they call a public meeting with nobody allowed to speak?
The town just doesnât get it that property taxes are based on property assessed values, not based on property owners incomes, and especially not based upon the total incomes of all who live in a particular household.
In order for us to avail of a discount, we have to bring our income tax return to be scrutinized by the town office, to see if we qualify for a discount.
That is ridiculous; my income tax return is none of their business. In addition, I also question that the confidentially of this process could be compromised.
They intend to form a seniorsâ advisory group to look after the needs of seniors. What does this present council know about the needs of seniors? Will they appoint seniors to this committee? They certainly are starting off on the wrong foot.
Seniors, for the most part, are on a fixed income, and the council had the foresight to increase our taxes by 300 per cent. How brilliant is that?
We have heard many stories and situations from seniors over the past few weeks, and it is sad that council has turned on us seniors. We are on a fixed income for the rest of our lives, while the working class continues to receive payroll increases during their employment term.
We are most vulnerable and, due to our age, we have a need for specialized medical services, which involves trips outside of Goose Bay for special treatments and surgeries. This brings us increased expenses for travel, accommodations, drugs, and all else that goes with it.
In reading other reports, I see that the town council is against the 25 per cent proposed hydro increase; but they are OK with a whopping 300 per cent tax increase to us seniors.
They also want their council salaries increased by as much as 100 per cent, having engaged a consultant to do a study to put their salaries in line with that of Labrador City.
There is something radically wrong with this. We, as a committee, intend to continue our efforts to fight for this cause.
â Wayne LeGrow writes from Happy Valley-Goose Bay